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NRL enforcer Tariq Sims' wife stars in 'one of the best women's fights ever'

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NRL enforcer Tariq Sims’ wife stars in ‘one of the best women’s fights ever’ – before Harry Garside dominates to win Aussie lightweight title and bizarrely calls his performance ‘terrible’

  • Ashleigh Sims fought toe-to-toe with Shanell Dargan over four rounds 
  • Fight stole the show from Olympian Harry Garside’s tilt at the lightweight title 
  • Sims and Dargan got $5,000 bonuses for their thrill-a-minute bout 

Ashleigh Sims and Shanell Dargan put on a fight for the ages as they both made their professional debuts on the undercard of Harry Garside’s Australian lightweight title tilt on Wednesday night – with one Aussie boxing legend labelling the bout one of the best he’s ever seen.

Sims, who is married to St George Illawarra forward Tariq, slugged her way to a majority draw with Dargan over four two-minute rounds packed to overflowing with toe-to-toe action at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion.

Despite being nailed in the opening two rounds, Sims punched her way back into the bout and landed several heavy shots as the momentum kept swinging from fighter to fighter.

Sims (left) was rocked early but punched her way back into the contest in fine style to earn a majority draw over four rounds of toe-to-toe action

Sims (left) was rocked early but punched her way back into the contest in fine style to earn a majority draw over four rounds of toe-to-toe action

Dargan - who featured on X Factor Australia in 2014 - lands a hard left on Sims. Both fighters got a $5,000 bonus for the terrific display and Sims is keen for a rematch

Dargan – who featured on X Factor Australia in 2014 – lands a hard left on Sims. Both fighters got a $5,000 bonus for the terrific display and Sims is keen for a rematch

Australian boxing legend Barry Michael, who held the IBF world super featherweight title in 1985, described the stoush as one of the best women’s fights he has ever seen.

Before the judges could deliver their verdict, promoter and former NRL cult figure George Rose awarded Sim and Dargan $5,000 each for thrilling the crowd.

‘I knew it was going to be a war,’ Sims said after the final bell.

‘I think everyone underestimated me because of who my husband is and that I’m a mum and all the rest of it, but I’ve got grit.

‘I’ve probably got bigger balls than most of the men in here. I f***ing love this sport, I’ve been out of the ring for over three years.

‘Let’s do it again. Yeah, we’ll do a rematch.’

Harry Garside (left) won every round to completely dominate tough Manuer Matet. Aussie boxing legend Barry Michael was rapt with his performance

Harry Garside (left) won every round to completely dominate tough Manuer Matet. Aussie boxing legend Barry Michael was rapt with his performance

Despite showing a lot of class in just his second pro fight, Garside said he turned in a'terrible performance' to take the Australian lightweight title

Despite showing a lot of class in just his second pro fight, Garside said he turned in a ‘terrible performance’ to take the Australian lightweight title

Sims and Dargan’s heroics stole the limelight from the main event, which saw Garside easily outpoint tough pug Manuer Matet to win the Aussie lightweight title in just his second professional fight.

Michael said Garside ‘never lost a round’, and the bronze medal winner from the Tokyo Olympics almost finished the contest in the ninth when he had Matet in deep trouble with a series of power shots.

‘Manuer Matet is a tough cookie indeed and he’s certainly come to fight, but he’s just been outgunned, outmanoeuvred, outsmarted, out-thought,’ Michael said.

But Garside had a very different opinion of his performance.

‘I’m always a massive critic, mate, that was a terrible performance and I’m always looking to grow, always looking to be the best version of myself,’ he said.

‘I’m going to go back to the gym, watch that fight again and there’s always room for improvement.’ 

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